SIPs — Engineered to Maintain a Healthy Home
During this difficult period of time, the majority of Americans are clocking many work hours in the comfort of their homes. However, the indoor air quality of a home does not always provide a safe haven. Household gasses and chemicals can trigger asthma related issues, cause headaches, eye irritation and allergies. Sometimes detrimental health issues, like cancers, can even be attributed to household toxins.
With that in mind, it does provide some comfort to know that building homes with structural insulated panels, or SIPs, will provide much healthier indoor air quality levels in comparison to traditionally framed homes due to impermeable building envelopes.
Near airtight building envelopes allow for control over indoor air quality
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a vital component of a healthier, more comfortable living environment. Improved IAQ can lead to a significant reduction of respiratory issues, allergens and exposure to harmful bodily toxins.
SIPs, expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid foam insulation sandwiched between two oriented strand boards (OSB), provide a virtually airtight building envelope. An airtight building envelope allows for better control over indoor air quality because it significantly limits incoming and escaping air flow. Because of the minimal amount of air flow, SIP homes do require controlled ventilation. Controlled ventilation filters out contaminants and allergens, while also allowing incoming air to be dehumidified, reducing the possibility for mold growth.
SIP materials are free of harmful toxins
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the average U.S. home releases 22,000 pounds of toxic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. To combat this statistic, many builders choose to build with SIPs because each facet of the manufacturing process is clean and will not disrupt the environment:
- SIP construction materials (including the adhesive) contain virtually no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- EPS rigid foam insulation uses a non-CFC blowing agent that dissipates shortly after production.
- OSB meets the world’s leading formaldehyde emissions standards.
- Zinc borate treated OSB reduces the exposure of wood products to fungus.
In utilizing SIPs, builders can feel proud about doing their part to better the environment through reduced energy demand, while simultaneously ensuring a healthy home for our families who want to be assured they have a safe and healthy home for their loved ones during these challenging times.